Start our own club??

Codger_64

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We can always start our own club. I'm not sure how it would work without Camillus being a part of it, or even if anyone would be interested. But it might work.

I believe the short life of the Camillus Collector's Club speaks volumes about collector interest in the brand. Why did it fail? Every business promotion is based upon economic realities. They produced, from what I read here, two newsletters and one club knife. But how many members were involved, i.e. revenue base? I could see them continuing the club if it were merely self-supporting, but what if it turned out to be a money pit for an already cash strapped company? I've always been pleased with the quality of the Camillus knives I've owned and handled, but the vast majority of their production has been hidden behind SFO stamps, and Camillus has been historically slow to do self promotions, prefering to sell larger orders to others who take the credit for their products.

Secondly, every collector's guide I have read lists Camillus knives as being low in collectability. The mainstream of collectors have for many years ignored the brand (and their sub-brands). Even now, when their production goals are shifting after this year's bad publicity and likely record losses, the posts I have made here regarding what I consider to be very collectable, well made knives draw very few responses and examples from others, with a few exceptions of course. I'm sure that a part of this is due to the modern collector's fixation on investment/monetary value of their knives. Only a relatively few Codgers such as myself concentrate on the historical aspects of Camillus design and manufacture.

Lastly, the "club wagon" will sit idle in the yard until a lead horse comes along willing to harness up and pull it himself. Are you offering to pony up?

Codger ;)
My problem is, I would have no idea, where or how to start.
I guess a production knife could be found, blade etched for a club knife. A patch could be made, maybe a bumper sticker, but a newsletter .... what news? I have emailed Camillus a couple of times for background on a series, such as production numbers, dates, pictures or other articles, but no replies.
And news about the Camillus company is even more scarce.
Until they are willing to give some imput on themselves and their product, I see no hope for a club.
And Codger, I know what you mean by your remarks. Most people are interested in a certain knife, or type of knife, and have no further interest.
I can find very little history on the Company, due to the fact I am a "newcomer" to collecting and all of the articles and historical items, are long gone.
My focus is trying to find all model numbers of the different series, with pictures and dates, but that has hit a brick wall. I know Camillus has this info, but it seems no one there is interested in taking time to look it up for a nobody like me.
Without Camillus being a part of the club, it is finished.
PS scuse any spelling errors
And so, we,ve taken this topic to a thread off this sticky. I hate cluttering old stickys with new posts of current interests. That sticky itself is of historical interest only, and belongs in the archive, IMHO.

Codger
 
Actually the Camillus Collectors Club produced at least three, possibly four or more (I can't remember for certain), newsletters and two club knives. The first one was a large trapper with a bone handle, which I purchased, and the second was a large barlow. The first year trapper was a very nice knife and I'm sure the barlow was too but I unfortunately had to pass on it that year. They also had an inexpensive stainless steel handled member knife that one could purchase when becoming a member. 'Camillus Collectors Club Member' was etched in script on the handles. I bought three of those. One for myself and the other two for a couple of my nephews that I sponsored junior memberships for. The junior memberships were free. The club existed for about two years. I don't know exactly how long because I don't know when it ceased to exist. What upset me the most was that Camillus didn't let the members know anything about the status of the club. I was a charter regular member the first year and I upgraded to life membership the second year. They did send me a baseball cap when I upgraded to life membership. A nice hat, but by itself definitely not worth a hundred dollars. The person (I forget his name) at Camillus who ran the club seemed very enthusiastic about it but, it seems, he didn't continue to get the company support he needed.

If Camillus treated their business associates with the same lack of attention that they treated their club members I can understand why they ended up with the financial problems they have. Still, I hope they survive and improve. Some of my favorite knives were manufactured by Camillus.

CapCase, can you show us a picture of the club knives you do have? I notice that they still have the newsletters and club signup offers on their website. Perhaps someone can tell us more specifically when/why the club was discontinued if indeed it has been. There is no indication of that being so on their website.

I would imagine that the people at Camillus have been up to their butts in alligators for quite some time. And if I remember correctly, the "hob-knob of the job" as far as this site and the club left Camillus. Our most Direct contact with the company on this site, CAMCO, has been most gracious and freely given of his time to drop in and answer our questions, even though (if I understand correctly) he is retired and receives no compensation for helping out here.

So now, we are left with the option of a collector club without factory sponsorship, which is actually more the norm than the opposite. As the good fellows in the Schrade Collector's forum have demonstrated for over two years now, all that is needed is interest and participation from the forum members. No fees required (forum membership does help support the bandwidth we consume), no forms to fill out, and the threads here are the "Newsletters", published daily on a wide range of subjects. A whole lot of Camillus' history is posted here, more than on their own website. And more product and company history is being added each week. Hats, bumper stickers, advance offers on new products are gravy for a company sponsored club, sure, but they don't make it a club. The membership does that, IMHO.

Codger
 
Here is a photo of the first year Camillus Collectors Club knife.

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Here is a photo of the Camillus Collectors Club member knife.

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    Camillus Collectors Club Member Knife.JPG
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Oooch! Nice one! I have the Sears anniversary knife in that pattern, and it is a really well made hoss! Thanks Cap!

And the little stainless member knife is no slouch either. Well, it is a shame about the factory club, and a pity the end was handled so poorly, if indeed it was handled at all.
 
The photo doesn't really do the Trapper justice as I'm not that great of a photographer. It is a really beautiful knife. I'm sure the second year barlow was nice also. I hated not getting it.
 
Starting or re-starting the Camillus collectors club sounds like a great idea. Just a suggestion; I can contact Camillus after the first of the year and see if they would be willing to do this. For a true collectors club to work the manufacture should be behind it. I am looking at validity of an official 2007 Camillus collector’s club knife. The start of the 2007 year would give them ample time to work out the details.
 
I believe I'd be interested as well, if Camillus would be interested.

Bill
 
Perhaps if their financial responsibility/liability were limited, it might be inducement?
 
I want to ... or should say, I would like to see, a picture collection like the "Collector of Schrades" in the Schrade forum.
Camillus would have to be involved to accomplish this as I have never found enough information anywhere, to even get started.
 
It has taken Larry years to assemble all of those pictures, and the information that goes with it all. And the effort continues yet. There has been no factory involvement there. Only the cooperation of a group of bull-headed collectors pooling their knowledge and resources, still constantly digging for more.

Larry is, in fact, planning to expand the archive there. But he, like most of us, has to work a real world job and maintain a reationship with his family. He is still, quite literaly, up to his butt in alligators with a backlog of ISC related information which he has to deal with before he can add another project to the site.

You see, it is all well and good to want something to happen, but dangit everyone is saying "You pull the wagon and I'll follow along behind".:D

Codger
 
Perhaps CAMCO (Tom) will see this post and have some valuable input about such an endeavor ( a new club)? He certainly understands the playing field.

Bill
 
I haven't really checked out these Maker sections of this forum too much, as I have been hanging around the makers area, but I would love to join a Camillus club as I have decided to collect more Camillus and older U.S. Schrade knives that are still affordable.

At the moment I have a Camillus Camp knife at the shop to be repaired. It's the only Camillus I own at the moment, but then I don't own a classic Schrade model of my own yet. I bought on for my son before they sold out. It's funny how you have kids and start thinking about the quality of the things you buy them.

I'd like a few of my own to use and hand down. I have a one that my father had. He's been in a nursing home for over 8 years now. It's not a special knife, but it is very worn and reminds me of him. He was a carpenter and used a blade and saw everyday of his life that I knew, so it seemed.

It's that kind of thing I want them to associate with the knives I leave behind. How I did what I could for them. I guess that's why you buy quality things to begin with.
 
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